Wednesday, 3 September 2014

You're Fired!

Some time ago, I recall seeing a conversion of some Nazgul to be set on fire done by One Ringer ukfreddybear. With the image in my mind, and some spare sub-quality Wraiths sitting around, I thought I'd try my hand at something similar, though to begin with, all I had in mind was that I wanted bigger flames than the ones I'd previously seen - walking bonfires in their full glory.

Example of poor quality pre-conversion Wraith:

Even though in the movie not all the Ringwraiths at Weathertop left in flames, I wanted to make five in case scenario play has a different outcome in the future. I decided that the following poses were best suited to escaping the flames. The undercoated one is from my first Nazgul set, and his sword is made of styrene, the other four are from the replacement set.

The next step was to figure out how I wanted to approach the sculpting. Wanting big flames, I decided that a wire armature would be in order. Were I just doing smaller flames, I probably wouldn't bother. I proceeded to drill several holes in each model where I wanted the largest tongues to be. Drilling onto the convex, high-curvature surfaces of outstretched arms was a bit of a pain, but I got there in the end. Bubbles in the finecast turned out to be quite useful here, and most of the holes I drilled are where bubbles used to be. Swiss cheese anyone?

Next, I cut up a bunch of wire, each piece about 3cm long. I have no intention of making the flames this big, I just wanted to have too much to work with than too little. At this point, I can't decide whether Vlad has been doing too much impaling, the Iron Throne has somehow come to life and attacked them, or if they have the same fungal disease that causes spiders to leave some pretty interesting corpses. It may also be that they're mutating into hedgehogs. After gluing the wires into place, and bending them to reflect the movements of each model that would have led up to their current poses, I cut the wire to a more appropriate length. As you can see in the second picture, one wraith will have the stick stuck in his face from the movie.

I have also recently obtained a few goodies:
Aragorn, Gimli, Lurtz, Merry and Pippin from the Ambush at Amon Hen set
Pippin from the vs. Grishnakh set
Arwen on foot with her sword in one hand
Gandalf (Heroes of the West)
Twilight Wraith with his sword raised
Three Kings of Men that I was missing
Sam from Weathertop, and the one drawing his sword
Frodo that goes with the Sam drawing his sword
Mirror of Galadriel.
There's also an Uruk Battering Ram in the post.

Because he was missing his left arm, Aragorn was thrown into the mix for free. With the help of One Ring member valpas in the form of a photo of the model, I've been able to get an idea of exactly where the missing arm should be in relation to the body. So far it's just a bit of wire and a cut out dagger (you can see the dagger before I cut it out in the first picture in this post). Even though the dagger handle looks a bit big, it's actually the same width as the sword's handle.

I hope to get to sculpting in the next couple of days. I'm a little hesitant to start yet because I usually use the spike of a compass, and I'm not sure how useful that will be for getting the smoother parts of Aragorn's arm and the Wraith's flames to look right, so I'll look into alternative tools before I start.

Until next time, may the wind under your wings bear you to where the sun sails and the moon walks!

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